I have worked as a Youth Justice Service Officer for Torbay for nearly 20 years with a specialism in Youth Court work. For the past year I have also been seconded to help lead a project for the Youth Justice Board to ensure that services take account of the impact of childhood trauma to help children recover and end problematic behaviours.
I have lived in South Devon for 35 years, raising my two children here (they both attended South Dartmoor Academy) I Have a deep love for our countryside but also recognise how rural communities can be impacted by poor transport links and high unemployment. In 2019 I was elected as a Town Councillor in Buckfastleigh as part of the independent ‘flat-pack democracy’ movement. In 2020 was voted in as Council Leader and Mayor helping to steer our town through Covid lockdowns, floods and the threatened closure of our swimming pool. I recently stepped down as Mayor as I believe that democracy is done best when leadership is shared and that no single voice should dominate for too long. I remain a Town Councillor.
I stand for election as I am passionate about my community and want to help improve services for everyone and particularly encourage people, who feel ambivalent about voting in local elections, to get involved and get organised to help make things happen.
I am a strong believer that costly archaic traditions need to go and that taxpayers money is best spent on things that taxpayers actually want and that communities say they really need. I want complete transparency and decency to return to local government and for councillors to make genuine efforts to engage all parts of the community in how services are delivered and not just pay lip service to consultation with voters.
Although I am a busy person with a full-time job (I also have three dogs!) I am full of energy when it comes to representing my community and looking for solutions on behalf of my constituents. I am not afraid to use my voice to challenge unfairness, ask awkward questions and to speak up for others and I have a particular interest in projects that benefit young people and help end anti-social behaviour and deprivation. I would describe myself and firmly ‘left of centre’ politically, but I admire politicians who are not afraid to challenge vested interests and insist on fairness, openess and equality.
I have made sure to study all relevant legislation around housing, social policy, inclusion, local government finance etc and I relish the opportunity to continue to meet with constituents and hear about what they want and how I can help them achieve it.
It seems obvious that change is desperately needed at TDC and would very much like to be a part of that along with my colleagues in the South Devon Alliance.